My STEAM project is a comic regarding the lack of mitochondria in Red Blood Cells (aka, erythrocytes). Red Blood Cells lose their mitochondria as they develop in order to better serve as oxygen and carbon dioxide transporters. In the final frame, the tributary plaque on the gravestone reads “Till Duty Do Us Part”, in reference to the Red Blood Cell’s loss of mitochondria in order to best fulfill its function. Thanks for looking! :^)

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  1. The above STEAM project is done by Kaia Victorino. It was meant to fulfill the objective: “identify the various components of blood and key structural components.” Kaia focused on erythrocytes (Red blood cells), and how the lack of a mitochondria assists them in their general functions within the blood. The lack of a mitochondria as well as other organelles (which are lost during the cell’s final stage of development) provides more space for the cell to carry oxygen and carbon dioxide to the proper tissues. Red blood cells also have a shortened lifespan due to the lack of many organelles including a nucleus. The visual that Kaia used to support her objective of describing the structural components of blood, (specifically red blood cells), was a comic strip that showed an erythrocyte delivering oxygen to a columnar epithelial cell, and then its eventual death later on due to a lack of a nucleus. This creative visual was a great way to not only show the role red blood cells play in the blood and how the lack of a mitochondria and nucleus aid in this function, but also the great sacrifice they make to serve the body by having a finite lifespan (due to a lack of a nucleus) so they can be more efficient gas carriers. It also shows how other cells in the body could not function without red blood cells.

    Rilee White

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